Vintage Airfix Tin Hoard

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Opening a vintage Airfix tin hoard from the 1960s or early 1970s with a few Bellona pieces too! 

One of my kind older modeller colleagues at work, who is currently downsizing,  handed me a tin that “might be of interest to me”.

Unopened for years, these appear to be relics of his late 1960s figure gaming days.

The heady smell of vintage Airfix plastic was the first thing I noticed.

A few Bellona vac-formed walls and a ruined house and bridge.

Underneath these were a surprising  mix of old 1960s Airfix figures, some still on their sprues. Figures, guns, horses.

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Very useful Washington’s Army troops in tricornes. 

Like many Airfix figures, some of them are fragile or broken. Some of them are cut up  ready to be converted.

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A rare joy – Airfix American Civil War artillery crews and cannons. 
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More of those hard to fix or glue horses for the U.S. Cavalry and a few Foreign Legion series 2 (1971) 
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Airfix Confederate Infantry, some half painted as Union troops. 
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Ever useful Airfix Union Infantry in Kepis. 
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Not just fragile  Airfix cowboys but the top sprue gives the clue – High Chaparral set figures (1971) with  John and Victoria Cannon and Manolito figures. 

A few WW2 British paratroops and  a few scrapbox items aside, this was a fantastic and kind addition to what survives of my family 1970s historical Airfix figures although I am very conscious of how fragile some of these figures now are.

The bottom of the tin has a scurf of fragile broken bits of figure and the trimmed off kepis from past conversions.

I look forward to painting some of these figures this winter.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, 8th September 2017.

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Author: 26soldiersoftin

Hello I'm Mark Mr MIN, Man of TIN. Based in S.W. Britain, I'm a lifelong collector of "tiny men" and old toy soldiers, whether tin, lead or childhood vintage 1960s and 1970s plastic figures. I randomly collect all scales and periods and "imagi-nations" as well as lead civilians, farm and zoo animals. I enjoy the paint possibilities of cheap poundstore plastic figures as much as the patina of vintage metal figures. Befuddled by the maths of complex boardgames and wargames, I prefer the small scale skirmish simplicity of very early Donald Featherstone rules. To relax, I usually play solo games, often using hex boards. Gaming takes second place to making or convert my own gaming figures from polymer clay (Fimo), home-cast metal figures of many scales or plastic paint conversions. I also collect and game with vintage Peter Laing 15mm metal figures, wishing like many others that I had bought more in the 1980s ...

10 thoughts on “Vintage Airfix Tin Hoard”

    1. I think my colleague realised that they would be going to a good home where they would be treasured from the appreciative sniff I gave the contents when the tin lid came off – old Airfix have a certain smell, probably of slowly losing the plasticiser that makes them finally
      brittle?

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  1. I steer clear of 1/72 these days but seeing those sprues takes me right back to childhood, I loved those figures and still recognise every pose, they should keep you good and busy in the cold wet days to come.

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    1. Brian
      I know that (some? All?) vintage plastics at OOHO or 1:32 will all eventually become fragile, but it is hard not to give these figures with care one last hurrah!
      Really sensibly I should put my time into metals. Like Spencer Smith 30mm plastics all becoming fragile with time, maybe one day somebody should recast vintage Airfix into metal by arrangement with Airfix? If anyone cares enough by then?

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  2. What a wonderful gift for you. I look forward to seeing what you do with this. There is something so evocative of times gone by in 1/72 Airfix figures that never leaves me.

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  3. Alan
    I think my excitement on opening the tin was reward enough to the giver (I’m not sure anyone else in the office would understand any of this – none of them were boys in the 1960s or 70s).

    Even flicking through the Jean Christophe Carbonel book Airfix’s Little Soldiers scratches that Airfix itch so I don’t need to chase and collect vintage box packaging in good condition.

    I’m not entirely sure how best to use these figures yet – I stumbled on a jumbled mix of similar figures in a small blue box hoard in a charity shop as well recently (mostly Napoleonic and ACW) which I shall feature on another blogpost.

    I hope to paint them loosely enough to work with ACW or reflagged to other 19th century conflicts including my Bronte fictional Imagi-Nations armies from the mid 19th Century. Still working out the details and uniform / flag schemes, map and back stories in the many gaps left the Bronte fictional countries.
    Best wishes,
    Mark, Man of TIN (and vintage plastic)

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